And the answer is.... not even remotely. Straight back to dire, with not even a single smile raised in the whole episide.
I get it - this was the heartfelt, romantic one, the one that addresses Howard's past and sets up the wedding and everything comes out well in the end. And, Howard makes such a wonderful speech about how he's a much better man (incidentally pointing out all the things that used to make him funny). And that's great if this a soap opera, but it's supposed to be a comedy. Remember when it used to actually be laugh out loud funny? Remember when it used to be funny?
Sheldon at a bachelor party! Raj makes a drunk speech! How funny would those things be? Well, as it turns out, not at all.
Dreadfully depressing episode... I really thought they'd got a clue again, but this was just dismal - all set up and no punchline. Even Sheldon wasn't remotely funny, and there's normally a couple of Sheldon minutes to get me through 20+ minutes of filler each episode.
One phrase will draw you here - 'Sheldon goes to a Bachelor party'.
One phrase will get you to stay - 'Raj gets drunk and gives a speech'.
While this may not be the best episode of the season, this goes a long way in expanding Wolowitz's character and his and Bernadette's relationship. Wolowitz celebrates his lacklustre (as promised to Bernadette) bachelor's party with his friends where Raj gets drunk and reveals several embarrassing stories of Howard's past sexual experiences. The recorded video goes viral and Bernadette second guesses the marriage.
While it is evident that the season will end with their marriage, the series shows no sign of losing steam. All the main characters are used pretty well, including a nice cameo by Wil Wheaton. Howard is the center of this episode, yet this episode forces us to explore how each character is in some sort of a relationship, whether it be the Howard-Bernadette marriage, Leonard-Penny on/off beta-testing relationship, Sheldon-Amy's what-can-you-call-it? or Raj's loneliness/dependency on Howard. The writing is pretty solid taking us through the comedy of the beginning to the emotional highs of the middle where Bernadette may break off the marriage to a final solemn resolution. A great watch.
Finally we get to hear some more about Howard & Bernadette's wedding. And not only that, but there's even a date involved! Apparently the wedding is in "a couple of weeks" and it looks clear that their wedding will be the Season 5 finale. Anyhow, the guys try to throw Howard an awesome but appropriate bachelor party like he promised Bernadette. This episode set itself up for a lot of laughs. I mean Sheldon at a bachelor party? That's like #2 on my list of storylines I would love to see him play in, behind a pregnancy. I mean, Sheldon and a baby. How funny would that be!? But back to the episode, it was brilliant. I sorta felt sorry for Howard when his bachelor party turned into a Celebrity Roast on Comedy Central. But it was pretty funny, and Wil Wheaton did reappear, to my pleasure. However, Wil filmed the entire scene and it quickly got to Bernadette, who now is considering calling off the wedding because of Howard's disgusting sexual past. However, you can tell Howard is really sorry he didn't reveal any of that stuff, and that he's changed since before meeting Bernadette. He then shows up at her apartment with the other girls. Hiding in her bathroom, Penny opens the door to hear Howard give an impressive speech from the bottom of his heart that eventually gets Bernadette to come out and completely forgive him. I hope this wedding falls through, although I've had my doubts ever since they became engaged. No matter what happens, overall, this has been a pretty good quality Season 5 after a lackluster Season 4 in my opinion.